Category Archives for "Fashion"

May 23

The Death Of a Fashion Business And How To Avoid It

By Maria Pesin | Business , Fashion

Though I have had many successes launching and building multi million dollar businesses, I have had one failure.  Sometimes you learn more from your failures than you do from your successes. Here is my story.

I opened a shoe store in a very trendy town that had a lot of tourists as well as wealthy homeowners.  It started out out great and business increased each month.  Until November 2000 when the election happened and we didn’t know who our President would be for a week.  I swear that was the exact date that my business fell apart.  Then the market crashed in 2001 and the final straw was 9/11 when the twin towers fell and  tourists stopped coming to New York.

The mistake I made was not keeping a good reserve of cash for any downturns.  I believed I would continue to be successful and didn’t husband my resources.  It was a big mistake and forced me to close my doors.  It broke my heart but ultimately I learned that life is about risks and sometimes those risks do not pan out.  It is what you do with failure that help us be more successful in the future.

So what did I learn?  Well, several things.

  •  One is I started too big.  I was so eager to get started that I rented a space that was more than I needed and ended up not being as centrally located as it needed to be.
  • I also took a space that was way too large and my rent and expenses were unnecessarily high.
  • And as I said before I thought that my business would just keep increasing so when it didn’t because unforeseen things happened I did not have a cushion of money to tide me over through tougher times.

Managing your money is an incredibly important part of being successful.  I have seen even growing businesses not make money because they weren’t careful with how they spent their funds.  Running out of money is one of the key reasons businesses fail so be fiscally conservative and you will increase your likelihood for success.

May 17

5 Things To Look For When Hiring A Sales Rep

By Maria Pesin | Fashion , Sales

Independent sales reps are business owners just like you.  While they do work for you they are not employees but more like partners that work closely with you to produce sales for your company.  If you think of them that way then you are more likely to have a successful partner ship with them.  It is important to have a good relationship as it will encourage them to pay more attention to your brand.  Let’s face it we tend to work harder for people we like.  So be quick to answer their questions, get them samples on time, ship their orders by the delivery date, and always pay their commissions when due. The following are 5 things you should look for when hiring a sales rep.

  1. Try to find sales reps by asking buyers who they recommend.  You want to make sure the rep has a good reputation in the market and the stores like them.
  2. If they are reps in a market that people travel to then they should have their own showroom that will reflect your collection well.
  3. The sales rep you hire must have lines that would sell to the same stores you would.  Good reps have a focus to their showroom so that they can optimize their time and success.
  4. At the same time you do not want to have a rep who has a product that competes with yours.  It doesn’t help you when a sales rep splits a potential order with more then one brand.
  5. It is important that they do some traveling to their stores.  Not all buyers make it to market each season.  Traveling to see them will increase your orders and also builds relationships with the buyer.  Most good reps find visiting their accounts is vital to their business growth.

Finding good reps is hard.  Not because they aren’t out there, but, because they are very picky about the lines they carry.  So if you find a good one you will want to nurture your relationship to ensure success.

 

May 03

5 Steps To Stay Motivated When Things Aren’t Working Out In Your Fashion Business

By Maria Pesin | Business , Fashion

Let’s face it.  Things go wrong.  Especially when you are in the beginning stages.  But, when things aren’t working out, and you are frustrated with your progress than it is hard to stay motivated.  So what do you do?  These are my 5 suggestions:

  1. Time to step back  – You might need to step away for an afternoon, or a day, maybe even a week and get your mind off your business.  It’s like rebooting a computer.  You need to shut down and refresh yourself in order to get back into the game and not be stuck.
  2. Audit your business – Audit all aspects of your business and study what is working and what is not.  And the obvious conclusion is to do more of what is and less of what isn’t.
  3. Work on you business rather than in your business – This is something I learned from reading “The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael Gerber.   We get so busy do the things required in our businesses that we don’t take time to plan and develop our business.  You should be spending time consistently on the development of your of systems and processes that will build your business.
  4. Come up with a strategy to processes and to execute the strategy.  Action is an important part of staying motivated.  When we consistently work on moving the needle forward it keeps us feeling motivated and positive. You should do at least 3 activities a day that you feel will drive your business to success.
  5. Get a coach or consultant to help.  A good coach will help with your mind set.  If you are feeling negative about your business it is hard to stay motivated and on task.  By talking with a business coach or consultant they can work with you on analyzing where the business is going wrong and also come up with a plan to turn it around.
May 01

The Rise of Micro Influencers In The Fashion Industry

By Maria Pesin | Business , Fashion

As a fashion business owner, you’ve might have heard about micro influencers and wonder what they are. Your undoubtably know that reaching out to influencers is a good marketing strategy. The influencers includes YouTube stars, bloggers, celebrities or a mix of all of them, but what  Micro-influencers are people who have 500 – 10,000 highly engaged followers around their relevant topics.

The  problem with influencers who have big followings is that they usually cost money and sometimes a lot of money to be in their site.  You can also get lost in sea of their promotions.  Whereas with micro influencers you usually only need to supply them with a piece of your product and when they write about you, you stand out.

In a study of done by Makerly.com on Instagram they found that, “Those with less than 1,000 followers generally received likes on their posts 8% of the time. Users with 10 million+ followers only received likes 1.6% of the time. There is a clear downward correlation between follower sizes and post likes. Between the number of followers an influencer has, and the level of engagement each post gets. In other words, as the number of followers increases, the engagement rate decreases.”

The size of the influencers following is not the only criteria but also the level of engagement of their followers.  If they don’t have good engagement then they probably won’t be effective for you and your product.

Finding the right micro influencers for your product will be an important key to your success with engagement with the right audience. So while it is time consuming and you will be doing some testing before finding the ones that will have impact, it is so worth your while to do research to find the right micro influencers and reach out to them. It may not be the only marketing you will do, but, it is a great addition to your marketing strategy.

 

 

Apr 27

As clear as a London morning in October…

By Maria Pesin | Business , Fashion

Tony Robbins talks about crippling self doubt.
Frank Kern talks about feeling overwhelmed.

Most professional coaches talk about listening to those dastardly vile automatic thoughts.

But in the end they’re all talking about the same concept.

A concept that can be easily distilled into one single word…

…that I’ll share with you in just a moment.

But first, I want to explain why I see so many people failing to achieve their goals in the fashion business.

Sometimes people do too much, and burn out.
Sometimes people do the wrong things, and shoot themselves in the foot.

Often people just don’t do anything, and wonder why it isn’t working.

But in all three cases the culprit is the same!

They fail because they never find the one concept that’s holding them back.

What is it?

Simple.

It’s called clarity.

You see, a lack of clarity means you don’t know what to do.
A lack of clarity can lead you to take action in the wrong direction.

And most often, a lack of clarity will push you into complacency and inaction.

Clarity is the opposite of uncertainty.
Clarity is the antonym of self-doubt.

Clarity is the fuel that drives confidence.

And you know what?

It’s perfectly normal not to have clarity!

After all, when was the last time you took a class in clarity?

Can meditation provide clarity? Maybe.

Can taking classes and studying like crazy? Well, it can’t hurt.

But the truth is, clarity comes from having a clear perspective and having seen the same problems before.

Yep, good old fashioned experience and observance!

So, if it’s so easy – why don’t you have clarity right now?

Because it’s REALLY HARD to achieve when you’re facing your own problems.

That’s why an experienced outside opinion is so essential.

Companies pay millions of dollars to consultants seeking clarity.

Politicians sell their souls to advisors and “experts” in order to run their campaigns.

And successful people find great mentors to help them reach their goals!

Now, you may be asking, where’s this all headed?

Well, as you may have suspected :-), I’d like to offer you some clarity today!

You see, in a few days I’m holding a webinar titled “The 7 Mistakes Almost All Fashion Entrepreneurs Make” and I’d like to invite you to attend.

When you click the following link you can see the details – and it’s free so what do you have to lose?

So, here it is:

Click the link and see you then!

Apr 25

How To Create a Million Dollar Fashion Business

By Maria Pesin | Fashion , Sales

Since I have done this several times I will speak from my own experience.  Having a million dollar or multi million business when run right makes money.  And the more millions in sales you do the more money you make.  Let’s face it, that’s why we do this.  We want to change the world but we need to make money while we do it or what’s the point?

In order to have a million dollar business you need to concentrate on 3 things:

  1. Product
  2. Sales
  3. Marketing

There are other details like accounting, shipping, and production but you are better off having someone else to oversee it while you concentrate on the 3 things that build your million dollar business.

First you have to have a kick ass product that people have to have.  It needs to stand out from the market and priced with value in mind.  Study your competition and see what you bring that’s different and make sure it fabulous.  If it’s dresses then make sure they are the best damn dresses out there.  Great ascetics, great fit, and amazing quality will get you there.

Secondly sales are paramount.  If you don’t sell you don’t have business.  Come up with a list of several hundred accounts to target and go after them.  That means send email blasts, direct mail pieces, and keep calling them till you get them on the phone so you can explain why it is in their best interest to buy you.  Remember stores need to make money, so how is your brand going to bring them profit?  If you are consistently profitable with an account, they will be a customer for life.

Lastly or maybe secondly (this could reverse) you must market the hell out of your product.  People like to buy brands and marketing helps create your brand. The difference between sales and marketing is marketing communicates the brand identity through ads, pr, and social media.  While sales closes the deal.

If you do all 3 well you are on your way to a million dollar business.

Apr 23

5 Quick Tips For Success In The Fashion Business

By Maria Pesin | Business , Fashion

I don’t know about you but I am always looking for ideas on how to grow and increase my success in my business.  I love learning and sometimes I already know something but reading it again reminds me to do the something I know I should be doing.  So whether you know these tips or not are you doing them?  Because I suggest you do them.

  1. Do not get thrown by mistakes. In this business as in life we make mistakes.  It is what we learn from the mistakes that matter. Especially in the fashion business.  So if you find out that a color story you ran or a style you developed didn’t sell find out why and incorporate the knowledge into your future designs.  If you were in a trade show for several seasons and are not finding success figure out what is wrong and use that info to make adjustments.
  2. You need to experiment a bit with your line and test new ideas every season.  A collection will get stale if you don’t .  I have seen many companies who had great businesses fail because their collection was stagnant and didn’t evolve with the market.
  3. You need a grand vision for your business.  I don’t mean that all business should shoot for a billion dollars in sales.  You can decide to have a small but profitable business.  What I mean is you need to have an ultimate goal that you pursue everyday.  By looking at your vision everyday you will find yourself getting there faster.
  4. Do 3 things everyday that get you closer to your goals.  It is easy to get bogged down with administrative tasks and find out at the end of the day that you don’t accomplish anything that moves the needle forward.  By planning and scheduling and (of course) executing at least 3 things everyday you will attract more success.
  5. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel.  There are many experts who have launched and built successful businesses.  Find them and learn from them.  Read books, watch videos, take courses, attend seminars.  If you want to learn I have a great membership plan for people who want to be able to email me any questions they have, attend monthly webinars, and get my monthly newsletter.  Click here to find out more.

Good luck and I wish you continued success in your business.

Apr 17

Attention Fashion Business Owners, I Need Your Advice

By Maria Pesin | Business , Fashion

I work hard to post you valuable content and want to continue to raise the bar. I would love to get your advice as a business owner on a couple of things.

Specifically, I’m looking for what your issues are and what else you would like to see me write about.

It would be great if you could answer these survey questions and email your answers to me at
maria@vibeconsulting.co. I appreciate your feedback and ideas as I grow my business to help more people.
As a thank you for taking the time out of your day to do this I would like to gift you a one hour free consultation with me.

Survey questions:
What’s your single biggest challenge around your business?


What worries you?


What about this area keeps you up at night?


What are your biggest challenges?


What would you like to change / make better?


What’s the biggest result you want to have in this area?


What would help you achieve this result?


How much time would you invest into getting to this result?


How much money would you being willing to invest into that result?


What would you type into Google to find an answer to this challenge?



Cheers,

Maria


Apr 13

Do You Dream of Having a Fashion Business?

By Maria Pesin | Business , Fashion , Vibe Consulting

Many of my subscribers have fashion businesses.  However there are a few that just have a dream.
They always wanted to be in the industry but for some reason or another they never pulled the trigger.  There are many reasons why they didn’t pursue it.  They got married and had children right away.  They didn’t have the confidence to go for it.  Or maybe they were talked out of it by well meaning parents.

Whatever the reason I’m here to tell you it’s not to late no matter what stage you are in your life.  I have people approach me that want to start a fashion business who are all different ages and some are in their late 60’s.  When other people are ready to retire they are ready for the next step in their life.  These people have a burning desire, a dream they never attained but feel if they don’t try their lives will never feel fulfilled.  I am talking about the fashion business, but this is true of any dreams you have.  Dare you go for it?

When someone is ready to make the leap into the fashion business many times that’s when they contact me.  They want to save time by learning from someone who has already done it.  Just because you don’t know the business it doesn’t mean you can’t learn.  The market is full of stories of people who took the chance.  A friend of mine started his accessory business by selling belts from his trunk. Another one started in a flea market and went on to open 20 stores. My favorite story is about Sara Blakely of Spanx who built a billion dollar business with an idea and $5,000.

Are you ready to take the plunge?  If so, go for it.  Make it happen.  Believe in yourself.

 “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” —Eleanor Roosevelt

Apr 11

The Quickest & Easiest Way To Start a Fashion Business

By Maria Pesin | Business , Fashion

You’ve dreamed of being in the fashion business your whole life.  But, things happen and you never did it.  Maybe your parents talked you out of it and into accounting because they thought it was safer.  Or you lived far from any city with a fashion center or you just didn’t know how to get started.

Well, now your ready.  You have an idea that you think is great and you are ready to pull the trigger.  My first recommendation is to find an expert in the field that you trust to help you navigate the waters.  You can waste a lot of time and money doing things that do nothing to enhance your business.

Next steps would be to find sample and production people to make your product.  My suggestion is you find a made in America company which will shorten your production and sample time.

The quickest and easiest way to start a fashion business is to sell direct to consumer.  Sell either through in home presentations, websites, or your own store.

Obviously getting into the business is more complicated then what I have explained here.  But in order to do things fast and streamlined involves cutting out certain steps that will make a difference.

Making in America saves long shipping time as well as sample development time.  If you buy fabrics and trims locally that will also save you time.  Selling direct to the consumer eliminates the long process of finding sales people who will then have to take time selling to retailers.  As you can see many months can be saved by following these ideas.

One important activity you cannot avoid, but can do at the same time as you do everything else, is marketing.  If you don’t market aggressively customers won’t know you exist and you will not create sales.  So don’t skip this important part.

Remember  “Nothing is impossible; the word itself says ‘I’m possible!'”-Audrey Hepburn

 

 

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